Material: Stylistically, Best Not Broken play their pop/rock hand straight down the middle. Despite three albums to their credit, cover tunes deliver an effective barometer of their sound—“Mrs. Robinson” by Simon & Garfunkel, “I Would Walk 500 Miles” by The Proclaimers, “Blister in the Sun” by Violent Femmes and “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran inhabit their repertoire for good reason. Blenderize these songs and you’ll get something like their original material. Rhythm guitar and keyboards enhance standard bass, drums and lead guitar, with dueling primary singers allowing for extra color. Post-punk, synth pop, reggae undercurrents and more constitute their musical DNA.
Musicianship: Slicker than a country road in a freezing rain, 2016’s New England Music Awards winner hold their own in the competency department. Experience and preparation unite to produce a flawless presentation. Being cut from the mainstream cloth means their music never strays far from choruses, but fleeting moments of fiery guitar and funky keyboard excursions are what deliver much-needed spice. Vocals, while decent, might be their weakest element.
Performance: Lead performer Eric Jackson handles his duties with all the right moves–– repeating their name, calling out other band members, mentioning their merch, etc. His interactions with bassist Mark Oslord provide visual interest, but the ante gets upped when punctuating their set by leaping off barstools. Dance-off contests come complete with quirky prizes like a Wonder Woman doll or a Patriots mask.
Summary: Having performed alongside artists like Pat Benatar, Jefferson Starship, Gin Blossoms and Little River Band, it’s no wonder Best Not Broken have carved a name for themselves in the New England territories. Although their song “Tell Me That You Want Me” has received national airplay, a chart-topper continues to elude them. Combining consummate professionalism with a sound that appeals to the widest audience possible, it seems a matter of time before the remainder of the country catches on.
Contact: [email protected], 603-452-8460
The Players: Eric Jackson, guitar, vocals; Mark Oslord, bass, vocals; Carlo Carluccio, drums, vocals; Anand Shah, lead guitar; Bryan Eyberg, keyboards, synth.
Photo by: Apple Kaufmann